Finally! You’re free! Living by yourself can be the greatest adventure of your life. You have the freedom to live how you want to, or come and go as you please. But…
Yet, whether you’re a twenty-something right out of college or an elderly adult experiencing independent living for the first time in decades, adjusting to the single life can be a little nerve-wracking.
Here are six ways to make yourself safe, organized, clean, handy, and happy living – all at the same time!
1. Security Breeds Calmer Nerves
Being on your own is sometimes a frightening experience. By yourself, every bump and shadow can make your heart race. Before you start becoming too stressed, remember that this is a normal, natural feeling.
There are things you can do to give yourself some peace of mind. The first thing you need to do is lock your doors and windows at all times, even if you are home. It seems simple, but it is a common mistake. If you are still worried, then maybe a home security system is right for you.
Modern security systems are available at most electronics stores. They vary in price for anyone’s budget and you can install most of them, yourself. These security systems connect to your smartphone so you can take control of your home enovironment.
You may live in the safest neighborhood in the world – but knowing that your new home is secure will bring some peace to an otherwise nervous time.
2. “Cleaning Day” Not Negotiable
Sometimes too much freedom can be a bad influence, particularly with cleanliness. Your “lazy bug” side can set in and quickly spiral out of control. Messiness leads to disorganization that can drastically worsen your mood.
Sometimes you need a little structure when it comes to cleaning, especially if you were never a big cleaner before. Make a list of chores and hang it on your refrigerator.
Do not overload yourself with cleaning tasks and space them out. Have Sunday be Laundry Day and Tuesday be Shower and Tub Day, or whatever; you’re now the boss of your home.
Make a schedule that is not overwhelming and stick to it; you will be much happier in your home for doing so.
3. Shop Till You Drop – Just Use A List
Living alone also means that you are in charge of all the shopping. Buying groceries sounds easy, but to the untrained, it can be leak your money away.
It can take a while to get accustomed to shopping for just you. Buying too much can lead to spoiled food and wasted money – too little, and you’ll be scarfing Domino’s every other night.
To combat this, plan your meals ahead of time for a week or two. Write down everything you need on a list before shopping and stick to that list. Over time, you’ll become an inventory expert!
4. Dissing Your Neighbors – Not Smart!
You can pick the perfect home with everything you need, but you cannot pick your neighbors. You never know if you will have a perfect, friendly person next door until you move in. It’s a roll of the dice.
Regardless of how lovely or terrible they are, always try to keep the peace. Even if they are the most annoying people you’ve ever met, try to suck it up and be courteous.
Having a bad neighbor is one thing, but having a bad neighbor who holds a grudge against you is even worse. You do not have to be their best friend – a simple “hello” or “good morning” is more than enough.
Check out this impossible couple that lives upstairs from a nice couple…
Back to the subject … If a neighbor does something nice for you, thank you gifts go a long way. You just never know when you’re going to need a friend.
5. It’s Party Time!
Your new home is your kingdom. You are the boss and are free to do whatever you want (within legal reason, of course) without having to worry about disturbing family, friends or roommates – or without them disturbing you.
Don’t believe us? Check out this BuzzFeedViolet about a gal who thinks living alone actually has a lot of perks…
Like we said, it’s about freedom to do what you want. If you ever start to feel lonely or things get too quiet, invite someone over.
Having friends, family, neighbors, or coworkers over occasionally can help make you feel more comfortable in your home. How often you have people over is up to you. You are the king or queen of your castle. If you want to have a shindig with friends every weekend, go for it!
Use your new rad cleaning and cooking skills to make your place as inviting as possible.
6. Become Your Own Super!
Independence comes with the added responsibility of self-reliance. Now that you’re on your own, use this opportunity to learn maintenance and home repair.
It might not be your number one choice of hobbies, but knowing how to tinker with and fix items around your home is invaluable.
Yes, you can always hire someone to fix something or replace something broken, but knowing that you fixed it yourself can boost your self-esteem and pride in your new home. You also have the added bonus of saving some money not having to hire a repair person.
YouTube is filled with tutorials for fixing just about everything. It’s as easy as finding the right video, and following along. Presto! You did it!
Want to hear more about living on your own? If you don’t mind a fairly heavy Canadian accent, check out this great video by video blogger, Kalyn Nicholson, with her take on adjusting to being in your very own place.
Some of this might seem obvious, but it’s easy to fall into bad habits. The best thing to do is stay focused, organized and on the road to independence.
Our final piece of advice is to relax as often as possible and put a damper on the negative thoughts. Instead of looking at all the ways you might feel unsafe or lonely, look at all the opportunities you have to do exactly as you please – free to cook, watch the Tube, visit others, exercise, sleep and enjoy. By the way … what are you doing Thursday night? 🙂